|Situation in Palestine|
|Thursday, 28 January 2010 10:22|
Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka
at the Security Council Open Debate
On ‘the Situation in the Middle East including
the Palestine Question” – 27th January, 2010
Permit me at the outset to congratulate you on your assumption of the Presidency of the Security Council and also extend our felicitations to Brazil, Lebanon, Gabon, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Nigeria on their election to this Council. We also wish to thank the Assistant Secretary General for Political Affairs for his briefing. My delegation appreciates the opportunity given to us to once again to focus on the situation in the Middle East, particularly, the Palestinian question.
Sri Lanka has consistently supported a peaceful settlement to the Palestinian issue and called on all sides to fully implement the Resolutions adopted by this Council and the General Assembly regarding the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian people and the realization of the two State solution. Our hope is that the day will soon come when Israel, Palestine and their other neighbours could co-exist in peace and harmony.
We remain deeply concerned about the daily widespread suffering and hardships the Palestinian people continue to endure due to the economic blockade and the ensuing grave situation in the occupied Palestinian territory. While we note the relaxation of some restrictions by the Israeli Govt. and the intension to suspend new settlement construction, we call for the removal of all restrictions. The Palestinian people have suffered for too long and continue to live under occupation. The denial of their fundamental right to Statehood due to continued Israeli occupation has seriously affected the socio-economic wellbeing of the population in Gaza and the West Bank including East Jerusalem. In this context, my delegation believes that for peace to be viable and sustainable in the Palestinian territory, Israel must withdraw from all of the Palestinian territories back to the 1967 borders. It must end the economic blockade. The illegal expansion of settlements, construction of the separation wall, changing the demographic character of the Palestinian territory would only increase tensions and animosities in the entire Middle East region.
The Palestinian Authority needs to continue the implementation of its security plan and make every effort at its disposal to improve law and order and to ensure its territory is not used for illegal attacks on Israeli civilians and that allegations of illegal arms flow are investigated. Both sides must do everything possible to ensure the safety and security of civilians.
Sri Lanka, reiterates its support for the Palestinian National Authority under the leadership of President Mahmoud Abbas. We stress the need to preserve and protect the national and democratic institutions which are vital for a future independent Palestinian State. We, therefore, urge the Palestinian groups to act speedily to reconcile and reunite within the framework of the legitimate Palestinian National Authority. Unity among the Palestinian peoples is their strength.
My delegation supports international efforts for the early resumption of negotiations and believes that the unity of the Palestinian people is essential to ensure proper conditions for the resumption of dialogue by Israel and Palestine at an early stage. We also urge both sides to ensure a climate conducive for resumption of negotiations. We also hope the Egyptian and regional initiatives will be supported by all groups in Palestine to enable elections to be held early.
Sri Lanka reiterates its support for a lasting peace in the Middle East including the peaceful settlement of the Palestinian issue.
I thank you Mr. President.